Through in-depth interviews with executives from Coca-Cola, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Apple, Adobe, Mattel, and Delta Air Lines, among others, Bennett and Miles note seven archetypal roles for COOs. These roles include providing daily leadership in an operationally intensive business (e.g. airlines or data warehousing), mentoring a young CEO (often a founder), retaining and rewarding internal talent, and more. Even within industries, no two companies view or approach the COO role exactly the same. Despite these differences, global lessons emerged.
"At the time of publication, the COO role and its relevance were often misunderstood," said Miles. "Today, the value no longer remains a mystery, as evidenced by high-profile COO to CEO transitions, such as Apple's Tim Cook and Coca-Cola's James Quincey. It's no longer accurate to state that CEOs must worry about the future while COOs must worry about the present. Balancing short-term goals with long-term strategy now falls on COOs and entire executive teams. The most successful companies maintain unflinching trust and flawless handoffs between the CEO and COO."
Riding Shotgun: The Role of the COO is available at the Stanford University Press store and other leading bookstores across the globe.
Dr. Nathan Bennett is the Associate Dean for Program Innovation at Georgia State. He has published in many widely read resources for managers including the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek.com and Forbes.com. He is co-author of two books, Riding Shotgun: The Role of the COO and Your Career Game: How Game Theory Can Help You Achieve Your Professional Goals. Dr. Bennett has 20+ years of experience designing and delivering high-impact leadership development programs. Current and past clients include The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, GEICO, UnitedHealth Group, Lockheed-Martin, GE, St. Jude Medical, and more.
Stephen A. Miles is the Founder and CEO of The Miles Group (TMG). TMG develops talent strategies for organizations, teams, and individuals—focusing on high-performance, world-class leadership. We advise top global corporations through CEO and senior leader succession, board effectiveness and optimization, senior executive coaching and assessments, and top team development. TMG is part of G100 Companies, a private partnership of boutique businesses that deliver solutions, advice, and forums for CEOs of the world's leading companies.
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SOURCE The Miles Group